Of Friends with Ex’s?

Broken Up Couple

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When I propose the idea of being friends with an ex-lover I always get a varied reaction. I’ll sit and listen to cries of NEVER,  it’s hard, there’s too much history, you’re never really over the person, it complicates things. From the person who is still emotionally attached in a I-want-him/her-back kinda way. I’ve been told NO he’s an ass, I don’t want to see his face ever again. From the person who had a messy-heated-I hate you-(possibly) abusive relationship. Then there’s the YES it’s definitely possible. I did it, we were better off as friends anyways. From the person who had a peaceful breakup. Sometimes the response will be a combination of one or more of the above reactions.

I’m sick of all this binary talk of emotions. Relationships current or previous, while they end, the remains don’t just disappear into the woodwork. Yes not seeing them will make it easier, and that time apart is essential to getting over someone. But the problems won’t magically fly into the heavens just because you’re boycotting another human being. Especially if some of those problems are self provoked. And just because with some ex’s you’re friends, doesn’t mean with all ex’s you can be friends.

I believe that everything in life is a matter of perspective, a case by case, person by person, there isn’t one solution, one answer. Life would be much simpler if it were.

All hail the mighty gray confusing area! Hear hear!

This topic occurred to me because I recently saw my ex for the first time in a month. I was expecting extreme awkwardness, spitefulness, sadness, tension, reigniting of feelings. You know, at least one of the above. What happened was different. It was comfortable. Almost like it was when we were together just without physical contact. What it made me miss wasn’t my ex-lover, it was my friend. I miss my friend. It’s a shame that sexual tension lingers around long after we want it to. We both want to be friends but life makes that a little more complicated. We basically have to start over as friends. I assume we’ll follow the typical Washingtonian formula for friendship: chat over coffee. Yep, that’s pretty much it. Coffee is the Washingtonian way of mingling. Going to a bar is to date like, or it might set higher expectations. Coffee is chill, relaxed, and homey.

I really wish befriending ex’s was simpler. I figure there are a select few elements which every ex-couple should consider: why do we want to be friends?, are we sure we can be platonic?, is the history too painful?, were we ever friends in the first place?

2 thoughts on “Of Friends with Ex’s?

  1. Welcome to WordPress Luna!

    Regarding being friends with exes: I believe that a breakup shouldn’t come with a consolation price. If the consolation price for breaking up is that you get a friend then it would be a much less painful process and people would be less bitchy about it. All in all, if friendship is a must give it I hear give it at least 18 months of not speaking so you can work out stuff.


  2. I have written about this topic too, mainly because I tend to stay friends in some way with most of my ex-boyfriends. However, I agree that it can be easier to stay friends after the break-up if you were friends before the break-up. I have found one of the hardest things to deal with when staying friends with your ex are how your new boyfriend or his new girlfriend handle it. I have had to stop being friends with a couple of my ex-boyfriend’s because their new woman did not want me around. 🙂

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